Richard Linklater’s one-of-a-kind boy’s life and Jean-Luc Godard’s eye-boggling 3-D foray seemed to bring a new sense of wonderment to movies for our poll respondents, making for a commanding winner and runner-up. Thereafter, familiar faces (Jarmusch, Leigh, the Dardennes, Wes and Paul Thomas Anderson) were joined by some surprising new contestants in our annual derby: Jonathan Glazer with Under the Skin and Alain Guiraudie with Stranger by the Lake, as well as Ruben Östlund’s Force Majeure and, extraordinarily, Lav Diaz’s 250-minute opus, Norte, The End of History. Nonfiction was robust and varied between Poitras–Sensory Ethnography Lab–Wiseman, and, smack in the middle of the list, The Immigrant’s arduous voyage continues. A note on the poll’s workings: over 100 North American colleagues ranked their favorites in two categories: 1) those that received theatrical runs and 2) those viewed this year but currently with no announced plans for U.S. theatrical distribution. For each ballot, a first-place choice was allotted 20 points, 19 for second, and so on.

Readers’ Poll: Readers are invited to stand up and be counted too! All entries will be automatically entered in our contest for free DVDs from the Criterion Collection. We will print the poll results in our March/April issue and publish your comments on the website. Send your ranked list of the year’s 20 best films (plus any rants, raves, and insights) with your name, address, and phone number, to fcpoll [at] Deadline: February 2, 2015. First Prize: your choice of Criterion Collection DVDs, up to $200 in value. Second Prize: up to $120. Third & Fourth Prizes: up to $80. The winners, who will be picked by random draw, can select prizes, subject to availability, from the Criterion Collection catalogue.

1. Boyhood
Richard Linklater, U.S.

Goodbye to Language

2. Goodbye to Language
Jean-Luc Godard, France

Grand Budapest Hotel

3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson, U.S.

Ida Pawel Pawlikowski

4. Ida
Pawel Pawlikowski, Poland

Under the Skin

5. Under the Skin
Jonathan Glazer, U.K.

Stranger By the Lake

6. Stranger by the Lake
Alain Guiraudie, France


Laura Poitras, U.S.


8. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, U.S.

Inherent Vice

9. Inherent Vice
Paul Thomas Anderson, U.S.

The Immigrant

10. The Immigrant
James Gray, U.S.

Two Days, One Night

11. Two Days, One Night
Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium


Only Lovers Left Alive

12. Only Lovers Left Alive
Jim Jarmusch, U.S.

Mr. Turner

13. Mr. Turner
Mike Leigh, U.K.

Force Majeure

14. Force Majeure
Ruben Östlund, Sweden

Norte, the End of History

15. Norte, The End of History
Lav Diaz, Philippines


16. Whiplash
Damien Chazelle, U.S.

Stray Dogs

17. Stray Dogs
Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan

National Gallery

18. National Gallery
Frederick Wiseman, U.S.


19. Manakamana
Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez, U.S.


20. Snowpiercer
Bong Joon-ho, South Korea

Listen Up Philip

21. Listen Up Philip
Alex Ross Perry, U.S.


Gone Girl

22. Gone Girl 
David Fincher, U.S.


23. Selma 
Ava DuVernay, U.S.


24. The Missing Picture
Rithy Panh,


25. We Are the Best!
Lukas Moodysson,


26. The Strange
Little Cat

Ramon Zürcher,


27. Jealousy
Philippe Garrel, France

The Last of the Unjust

28. The Last of the

Claude Lanzmann,


29. Foxcatcher
Bennett Miller, U.S.

Leviathan Andrey Zvyagintsev

30. Leviathan
Andrey Zvyagintsev,


31. Nightcrawler
Dan Gilroy, U.S.

The Babadook

32. The Babadook
Jennifer Kent, Australia

Love is Strange

33. Love Is Strange
Ira Sachs, U.S.

What Now? Remind Me

34. What Now?
Remind Me

Joaquim Pinto, Portugal

Life Itself

35. Life Itself
Steve James, U.S.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

36. A Girl Walks
Home Alone
at Night

Ana Lily
Amirpour, U.S.

A Summer's<br />Tale

37.  A Summer’s Tale
Eric Rohmer, France

Winter Sleep

38. Winter Sleep
Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey

Closed Curtain

39. Closed Curtain
Jafar Panahi, Iran

Night Moves

40. Night Moves
Kelly Reichardt, U.S.


41. Interstellar
Christopher Nolan, U.S.


42. Locke
Steven Knight, U.K.

It Felt Like Love

43. It Felt Like Love
Eliza Hittman, U.S.

Guardians of the Galaxy

44. Guardians of the Galaxy
James Gunn, U.S.

The Homesman

45. The Homesman
Tommy Lee Jones, U.S.

Like Father, Like Son

46. Like Father, Like Son
Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan

Level Five

47. Level Five
Chris Marker, France

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

48. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
Ben Rivers & Ben Russell, U.S./U.K.

A Most Violent Year

49. A Most Violent Year
J.C. Chandor, U.S.

Gebo and the Shadow

50. Gebo and the Shadow
Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal

Don’t see your favorite here? Proceed to the Best Unreleased Films of 2014.